by Megan, Ozbo.com writer/editor
This Easter, many children will find a live bunny in their Easter basket alongside the chocolate ones. But once the jellybeans are long gone and the initial burst of excitement has faded away, the responsibility that comes with your new bunny still remains. Rabbits are long-term pets that can–when kept indoors and properly cared for –live for up to ten years, according to ASPCA.org, and they require just as much love, care and maintenance as a household dog or cat.
Growing up with four pet bunnies (Ginger, Thumper, Comet and Fluffernutter), I can tell you that rabbits are affectionate, smart, social animals that make terrific pets. As long as you’ve done the research and are committed to caring for your bunny for the long haul, a pet rabbit is going to be a great fit for your family.
So in honor of Easter and our love of all things fluffy, here are five things you’ll need to give your new bunny a loving fur-ever home!
1. Home Sweet Home: Finding the Proper Cage
A home is much more than just a roof overhead. Your new bunny needs its own happy place; feeling safe and secure starts with the proper cage. According to ASPCA.org, the ideal location for your bunny’s cage is indoors and the recommended minimum size is 4’W x 2’H x 2’D. Spacious, stylish and easily-accessible, Ware’s split-level Living Room Rabbit Home is a great indoor housing choice. If outdoor housing is the only option, make sure the cage is sheltered beneath a covered surface, such as a garage, porch or patio. The Ware Premium Plus Hutch, with its slanted roof and cozy den area, would make an ideal outdoor living space.
Make sure to lay down plenty of straw or aspen shavings in your bunny’s cage, such as Kaytee All Natural Aspen Bedding & Litter, so your bunny can forage and build a nest to curl up into. (NOTE: Cages with open grates are NOT rabbit-feet friendly. If your cage has an open bottom, be sure to cover it with wood or cardboard.)
2. Healthy Diet: Hay, There!
A quality, well-balanced diet featuring the right amount of protein and digestible fiber is essential. Crunchy, pellet-based Kaytee Timothy Complete Rabbit Food covers these bases.You’ll also need to stock up on hay for your bunny to munch on a regular basis, such as Kaytee Natural Orchard Grass, which aids in healthy digestion. Be sure to feed your rabbit a variety of fresh veggies each day, like lettuce, carrots, leafy spinach and broccoli too!
3. Stimulation: Encourage Play Time
Let’s face it: you’d get bored if you lived in a cage most of the time too. Bunnies need stimulation as part of their overall happiness and well-being. The Ware Sisal Carrot Chew Toy is fun for your pet to thump, rattle and roll around its cage. Another great idea is a harness, (how cute is this Peter’s Rabbit Walking Jacket from Marshall Pet?) so your bunny can get some fresh air and explore the great outdoors. (NOTE: Never leave your pet unattended outside.) Rabbits need several hours of exercise a day, so be sure to take your furry friend out of its cage on a regular basis.
4. Chew on This: Dental Health
Wooden chew toys are not only essential for satisfying natural gnawing instincts, but for helping keep rabbit’s sharp teeth maintained, clean and at a healthy length. Always supply your pet with wooden chews. We like Ware Wooden Vegetable Chews and Super Pet Chilly Chews Mineral Treats, which are non-toxic and fun to nibble (and super cute!). Empty cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls are good (and cheap) to place in the cage from time to time for some extra chewing fun.
5. Beautiful Bunny: Grooming Essential
Rabbits are naturally clean animals for the most part, but you’ll want to keep a few key items on hand for occasional grooming. We suggest a mild, light shampoo, like this baby powder-scented Squeaky Clean Critter Shampoo, and Small Animal Pro-Nail Trimmer mini-scissors from Super Pet for trimming those tiny nails.
Last and most importantly, be sure to shower your new bunny with lots of love!
by Megan, Ozbo.com writer/editor
When I was a little girl growing up in Southern California, my grandparents started a family tradition. They planted a tree in their backyard for each one of their six grandchildren. Each tree had a plaque at the base which listed our name, along with the year we were born and the kind of tree. Mine was a Magnolia.
When my grandfather (better known as “Papa”) passed away 31 years later, my Magnolia tree stood ten feet high, adorned with soft white and pink blossoms, my name scrawled at the base nearly faded from sunlight. As the beautiful tree swayed gently in the breeze, casting flitting shadows across my feet, I couldn’t help but smile.
Planting trees is beneficial in so many ways: They enhance natural landscapes, boost levels of oxygen and play a vital role in the food chain. Not to mention that doing something positive for the environment not only makes you feel great, but allows you to spend quality family time together.
So embrace your inner tree hugger, grab the kids and start digging!
- Work gloves, like these Green Ape Chore Gloves or Atlas Gloves Nitrile Tough Gloves, to help maintain a good grip and keep your hands comfortable.
- Measuring tape, such as Master Mechanic Steel Long Tape Rule, always comes in handy.
- A good all-purpose garden knife for removing tags and packaging. We’re particularly fond of Fiskars 14-Inch Big Knife.
Step One: Select Your Tree
Doing research is essential. Things to consider: Will the variety thrive in your climate? What’s the reach and sprawl it will grow to? What amounts of sunlight/shade does it need? Will it drop fruit, petals or seeds?
Step Two: Dig a Hole
After you’ve decided on the best location for your tree, it’s time to prep the planting site. Depending on which type of tree you purchase (bare root, container or burlap-wrapped), the following steps will differ. (NOTE: Follow these steps from the Arbor Day Foundation for planting container trees.) Grab a shovel, such as this Garant Practica Round Point Shovel,and dig a saucer-shaped hole three or four times as wide as the container. Be sure the hole has sloped sides. PS – If it’s an option for you, a roto-tiller, like this steel-bladeEasy-Step Roto-Cultivator, will make digging much easier and faster.
Step Three: Plant Your Tree
Carefully remove the container keeping the soil intact. (NOTE: If the roots are bound, cut an “X” and four slices across the bottom.) Stand your tree in the middle of the hole. Be sure the collar (where the trunk and root meet) is slightly above ground level. Add a bit of tamped soil if you need to bring the level up. Spread some soil around the base while ensuring the tree is straight. Then fill the hole with the original soil leaving the collar slightly exposed.
Step Four: Water Your Tree
Now that it’s in the ground, saturate the base of the tree and the surrounding area. Saturate it good. (We really dig this NeverKink Heavy Duty Garden Hose because, well, it never kinks.)
Step Five: Mulch
Following a three-foot diameter around the base, spread mulch three inches deep. Don’t cover or bump up against the tree trunk. Not only does this help the soil retain moisture, the planting site looks better as well. Pro Choice Golden Trophy Premium Cypress Blend Mulch looks great and is totally affordable.
Step Six: Enjoy Your Tree
Keep the base damp but not waterlogged. In dry weather, you should water your tree every seven to 10 days. Don’t blast it with the hose; water gently around the trunk and base. You’ll need to invest in a good set of pruners, like these Fiskars 10-Inch Traditional Bypass Pruning Shears, to trim your tree from time to time.
Don’t forget to make a plaque (handmade in plastic casing or engraved) for each tree with everyone’s name, the tree variety and the date you planted it so you’ll have plenty of enjoyment for years to come.
Eight everyday ideas to help your family become a little bit “greener” around the house.
by Megan, Ozbo.com Writer/Editor
We all know the lingo. Go green. Reduce your carbon footprint. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
There’s a lot of info floating around to encourage a more eco-friendly lifestyle. But it’s easy for things to get lost in translation.
We’ve put together a few basic ideas and tips you can implement around the house. Simple things that make sense. Because no matter how small it may seem, every effort counts. With just a little bit of creativity, you and your family can make Earth Day every day!
1. Clean Green: Make Your Own Cleaning Products from Scratch
Harsh chemicals. Names on the back of bottles you can’t even pronounce. We’re conscious of the things we put in our bodies. But what about the things we use outside our bodies? Meet the pantry staple superstars: Baking Soda and Distilled White Vinegar.
Did you know a diluted spritz of white vinegar and water makes laminate floors sparkle? Or a paste of baking soda and white vinegar will freshen sink drains, make stainless steel shine and remove rust?
These two natural products are the champions of the cleaning world. They’re inexpensive, all-natural and won’t leave a trail of mystery toxins behind that could potentially harm your loved ones and pets.
2. Use Your Green Thumb: Grow an Herb Garden
There’s comfort in knowing where your food comes from. What better way to season a home cooked meal than with fresh herbs from your own garden? This EarthBox Junior Garden Kit is a great place to start.
3. Get to Composting!
Start a homemade compost pile in your backyard, or purchase a ready-made one like this Pop & Grow Composter from Vertex.
No matter how big (or small) your yard is, a compost pile is beneficial. You’ll save money by making your own fertilizer, soil conditioner and organic pesticide.
4. Bye-Bye Plastic: Carry a Reusable Water Bottle
If you drink the recommended eight glasses of water a day for 365 days, tap water will cost you around .49 a year. Bottled water will cost you $1,400! Tote a reusable, BFA-free water bottle like this Contigo Auto Seal Water Bottle instead of store-bought plastics.
It’s an easy switch to make and is perfect to take to the gym, work and when running errands. ‘Nuff said.
5. Try Meatless Mondays
Get creative and cruelty-free in the kitchen by serving at least one vegetarian meal each week. The meat industry is responsible for producing one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions (that’s more than auto fumes!). And when you consider all the great health benefits a vegetarian diet offers (reducing heart disease, curbing diabetes), it’s not that difficult to trade the beef stock for Organic Vegetable Stock.
6. Kitchen Sense: Swap Plastic Containers for Glass
Glass is durable, eco-friendly and much prettier to look at versus dingy, stained Tupperware. We especially love mason jars. Besides their practical canning, preserving and storage functions, the possible uses for Mason Jars are endless.
Arts and craft projects. Creative home décor. Farmhouse-inspired flower vase. The list goes on.
7. Make the Switch to Energy-Saving Light Bulbs
Not only will they save money on your electric bill in the long run, but they’ll last longer too. Trade out conventional incandescents for compact fluorescent, LED or halogen bulbs instead. We really dig these GE Energy Smart Bulbs. They last FOREVER.
8. Let It Rain: Collect and Re-Purpose Rainwater
Set a large tub or barrel outside to collect rainwater, then reuse it to water your garden, clean the car or hose off the patio. Just don’t let it sit for too long before using. This Suncast 50-Gallon Rain Barrel, featuring a lid and easy-to-operate hose, was made for this!
Ozbo.com continues to grow thanks to our 1.1 Million Happy Customers. Thanks to you, we’ve been able to hire additional staff and continue to expand our operations. Read about our latest growth in the Standard Speaker
Wow! We’ve now shipped our 500,000th order. It’s a huge number and one that we arrived at in only 3 years. Everyone here at Ozbo would just like to thank the 500,000 wonderful customers that we’ve gotten to serve, and we look forward to serving our millionth customer this year.
Thank You So Much!
Josh & the Entire Ozbo Team
At Ozbo, we’re constantly trying to be better. We want to offer our customers better and better service, so we’ve recently made some huge changes that will make our customers love Ozbo even more.
On March 11,2011 we moved from our old facility to a new warehouse that’s almost 100,000 s.f. in size. With this huge expansion, we’re able to offer a whole host of great new products like pots & pans, gluten free dog bones, Sluggo, as well as new items for the home and babies.
The other exciting change is that our warehouse is now open 7 days a week. With this change customer’s who order over the weekend will have their order ship out within 24 hours.
We hope our customers love these changes, and as always if there’s anything we can be doing better, please let us know!
They love us, they really love us! We were elated to find out that Ozbo is now a Pronto top 100 merchant. This award is a reflection that we continue to improve, provide fantastic customer service and amazing deals every day. Just because we’re in the top 100 doesn’t mean we’re going to stop working to get even better.